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When you put yourself out there in the public eye, there is never a dull moment. This is my second career in the public eye, and even though that aspect of this job has never been “easy” per se, I will say that it forces you to build a thick skin. You learn quickly how to create strength and purpose around what is important to you, and crucial to the health of your actual work — and you stick to that. You drown out the voices, especially the unimportant ones. You realize that “haters” are just “lovers” with too much time on their hands and an ax to grind.
That said, anybody who reads my blog or knows me personally, knows that the last year of my life has been the most challenging I’ve ever faced. With a quick google search, you can learn that I went through a very public divorce while I was pregnant, and became a single mom of three kids during a pandemic. Oh, and I had a business to run also. There are millions of women out there facing the same cards — and harder — every day. Just trying to figure out how to keep it together, stay true to themselves, and take care of the people depending on them.
I get so many DMs and emails from readers asking me to share my take on “how to get through” challenging times and come out on the other side. “How do you stay so positive?”, I’m often asked. First of all, I don’t! LOL. I’m definitely not a person who has a smile plastered to my face no matter the circumstances. I do make a conscious effort to move through the bad moments into a space with more perspective. I do focus on grace under pressure. I do try my best to stay true to myself and my values always. The truth is, everyone has strength and power within them — it’s just a matter of accessing it.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I would answer the people who ask for tips surrounding this topic. Can what works for one person work for many? Times are pretty crazy right now, and I think we’re all looking for some extra tools in our emotional toolbox for those tough days. Myself included!
I think it is the perfect time to share some tactics I use to help me on my roughest days. These tactics aren’t perfect, and probably don’t work for everyone — but they help me. I hope they might be able to help you too!
My therapist recommended the book “Broken Open” when I was going through my divorce and it pretty much changed my life. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a major perspective shift during your big life change. It’s not really about divorce (though divorce is covered), but rather about using really massive life changes to grow as a person. My therapist also recommended the book “Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce And Building A New Life”. I haven’t read this one yet since I’ve been focusing on my Book Club books, but I have it and plan to start soon!
Instead of Fantasy, Gain Perspective With Realistic Comparison…
It’s not going to help anybody to put their head in the clouds when their world is crumbling. When I’m in a bad place and turn to fantasy-like romance movies, magazines, even novels — I find myself feeling more overwhelmed and down. What does help me is surrounding myself with true stories of overcoming obstacles, inspirational figures, and the important perspectives from people who are struggling much worse than I am. Do you know of somebody who went through a terrible divorce or an entrepreneur who struggled for years before finding success and wrote books or gave interviews about those experiences? Read them! Everyone you know is going through something you may know nothing about — nobody is immune to heartache and feelings of inadequacy or failure. We now live in a world where interviews and media about REAL things are at our fingertips. Dive in and know, for a fact, that you are not alone and never have been.
This helps me every time: Sit down with a journal or a piece of paper. Take a few deep breaths. Start writing about every single thing that you are truly grateful for in your life. Not the things you think you SHOULD write, but the things you really feel connected to. It can be as simple as your health and your children or spouse– or even more specific, like the way you and your best friend can laugh about the same thing without even exchanging words. It can be The Real Housewives Of New York. Whatever! Don’t stop until you can’t think of anything else. Reminding yourself of your joy triggers and what truly matters to you is ALWAYS a good exercise.
Meditation & Breathing Exercises…
Getting back to your breath and your body is so grounding. I started doing breathing exercises during my pregnancy and it really helped me through periods of anxiety. Apps like Headspace and Calm are also great if you need some structure or want to get into meditation for the first time.
Spending time outdoors, whether it’s hiking or a walk on the beach, really helps me get back to my core strength and feel a million times better. There’s something so therapeutic about breathing in fresh air that cycles me back to the rhythms of nature, and reminds me that life isn’t one minute or one day or one week — but rather the ups and downs of a lifetime process. Winter turns to spring. The ice does thaw. Thinking about my life as a more long-term experience always centers and grounds me.
Spending time with friends who really know me, make me laugh, and have my back, has truly saved me this past year. Similarly, taking stock of my relationships and figuring out which ones were toxic has also helped me this past year. I wrote a blog post about it, but editing your life and relationships is never a bad thing. You don’t need anyone in your life bringing you down, there is enough we go through without adding that to the mix!
Don’t Put Self-Care on the Back-Burner…
If you don’t invest in yourself, you will get burnt out. I’ve learned this the hard way far too many times. It’s ok to ask for help and to invest your free time in something purely for YOU. That could mean a long bath with an indulgent Bath Bomb, or a really delicious takeout meal of your favorite food. For me, it also means watching a show I love at night instead of fitting in more work after the kids are in bed. You know best what recharges YOUR soul, and you deserve to make that happen for yourself!
Pay It Forward…
The one thing that has helped me without fail during any hard time in my life has always been giving back. Shortly after announcing my divorce last year (the backlash of which was one of the hardest things I’ve had to ride out in my entire life) I threw myself into fundraising for the Holidays. I knew to do this as a grounding exercise because I’d done it after breakups or big life changes before, and it always has given me much needed perspective to help anyone who is struggling. I’ve volunteered at soup kitchens and women’s shelters, done builds for Habitat For Humanity and even helped fundraise or create content for organizations like Heifer International. Find a cause that you’re passionate about, and see if you can get involved in some way, whether it is locally in person (I prefer this, though times are different now) or even by volunteering your services from afar or fundraising. There is a big election coming up soon, so helping register voters is a great place to start if you need a distraction from whatever you’re going through!
Thank you Eva for sharing these great tips! You are a true inspiration to many. I really like the part about haters being just lovers. It’s so true. We all have our own challenges in life and criticising others only takes time away that we could be focusing on improving our own lives. It takes so much more energy to hate than to love and life is just too short to bring down others.
I completely agree with paying it forward and helping other people. Volunteer work heals the soul and I’ve found great comfort in giving back to help me get through the loss of 2 loved ones this past year.
Thank you for brightening my day. You are definitely doing your part to help make this world a better place. Your words are so inspiring and I admire your inner strength and ability to persevere through challenging times no matter what, all while continuing to be a much needed bright light in this world.
Sending positive vibes to you and your family. Continue to cherish each moment and I hope you all stay happy and healthy. You are an incredible Mom and such a hard worker with a huge heart. You have an amazing way with words, and if you ever decide to write a book I’m sure it would be a huge success!
I couldn’t agree more with you regarding gaining perspective through real stories and experiences from other people, it can be lifesaving and sanitysaving at difficult times ?.I always resort to reading interviews, biographies and blogs when I struggle with something and try to find out how other people deal with similar situations.In fact that’s how I discovered your blog and more specifically your post “the struggle is real” when my 9 month old son had fallen from our bed accidentally.Moreover, I find great help during rough times in music, watching comedies and anything funny,just hugging my son, reflecting on how I pulled through difficult times in the past and I love what Tom Ford has said once about getting dressed with your best outfit on a bad day no matter how mess you feel inside, it actually makes me feel better on a difficult day.
Thank you much for sharing all of these tips! You are such an honest, inspiring and wonderful woman. I truly enjoy reading your blog and wish nothing but the best for you and your family. Xo
Thank you for this wonderfully insightful post! It has completely illuminated my outlook in the most enlightening way.
What you wrote about how no one is alone and never has been is so impactful. Thank you for these wise words, Eva!
Sending warm wishes from an avid HEA visitor in the Philippines!
THIS…. “haters” are just “lovers” with too much time on their hands and an ax to grind.
I too do gratitude journaling… i take deep breaths… i read a lot…
I love your blog… your posts. You’re real and raw.
Positive vibes to you and your family! Best Always!xo
I really needed this today. Thank you. Last Sunday I broke my shoulder while doing yard work. On Wed my husband was diagnosed with cellulitis and orbital shingles and sent to a hospital 3 hours away. Keeping the faith for brighter days ahead.
Thank you for the valuable points that you bring up Eva. It is always helpful to know what help others.
I always enjoy your BLOG. Now my daughter also reads your information every month. The children are beautiful and glad to see all is well.
I’m new here and just curious, what is the business that you run? I’m pregnant with my first baby and wanted to connect with other moms.